18 Jul UNSILENCED: Behind The Wall
“Talk about all the other things that contribute to a situation that has given, over the years, so many people so many reasons to say, “Me too.” And then: Do something about them. But also: Be specific about them. Resist conflation. Resist expansion. Resist entropy. There is, in #MeToo, a particular problem to be solved among all the even broader ones.”
–Tarana Burke, Founder, #MeToo Movement
UNSILENCED: Behind The Wall, is a domestic violence awareness program to be hosted by For Women Collective and Tomorrow’s Girls & Women. The program will take place on the afternoon of Saturday, October 27th, at Fellowship Hall, Church of the Brethren, 6611 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19119.
I founded For Women Collective as a performing and literary arts ensemble, honoring the legacy of Nina Simone, by primarily focusing on issues that impact women and girls of color in the Philadelphia tri-state area. Tomorrow’s Girls & Women is a Philadelphia non-profit mentoring, empowerment and community service organization, founded by FWC member and In The Company of Poets founder/director, Pat McLean-Smith.
With Tarana’s permission (I served as her office manager at Art Sanctuary), our program theme will be designed around her quote, “It is important to acknowledge the trauma, but even more crucial to cultivate joy.”
Two years ago, Pat and I first used the word, UNSILENCED, as a way to incorporate poetry, songs, storytelling and dance into a theatrical production and fundraiser, honoring Nina Simone, Sonia Sanchez, Miriam Makeba, Audre Lorde and Katherine Dunham, at the Venice Island Performing Arts Center.
For our October program, in addition to a keynote presentation by local playwright/poet/healing activist/social worker, Kamillah Abdul, whose recent play, “Mississippi Smiles,” includes the words, ‘I AM A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SURVIVOR, who’s no longer afraid!”; vocal and spoken word performances by members of For Women Collective; a panel discussion, including two male allies–one a youth mentor, and the other a former prison guard; a “Purple Passion Fashion Show,” featuring attendees from partner organizations; creative activities for children; and fellowship with other survivors, we will have vendor and resource tables, and light refreshments. Net proceeds from this event will be donated to the Purple House Project PA Inc, a non-profit organization in Delaware County.
We already have a commitment from Wawa to provide juices and teas for sixty people. Laurel House, a domestic violence awareness agency in Montgomery County, has become one of our sponsors. We seek in-kind support and financial donations, as well as we are seeking grant opportunities.
Looking forward to the possibility of your assistance.